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5 Tips To Convince Management to Embrace Work Flexibility

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Great strides have been made in work flexibility over the last decade. Every year, an increasing number of employees are given the opportunity to work outside a traditional office, set a more fluid schedule or change how and when they work in some other way to accommodate personal responsibilities and preferences.

Still, though nearly 9 million Americans telecommute to work at least half the time, it’s estimated that more than half the total workforce currently hold jobs that could be completed remotely. Despite research that shows telecommuters to be generally happier, more engaged and more productive than their onsite counterparts, corporate acceptance of work flexibility is still in its infancy. However, there are ways to advance the cause and gain the support of decision makers in your organization.

Collect relevant data

Numbers don’t lie, so when you make your case for introducing or expanding work flexibility in your organization, be sure to have data to back up your pitch. Include stats that highlight how your organization would benefit from work-flex policies:

Employee satisfaction and tenure. Flexible work policies signal a company’s trust and confidence in its employees, regardless of where or when they work. Flexibility combined with trust can increase satisfaction and loyalty and facilitate the retention of valuable employees.

Attrition expenses.

Improving retention minimizes the expenses associated with recruiting, hiring and training new employees. In addition, high turnover also means losing revenue when productivity dips. The longer employees stay with an organization, the more valuable they become in terms of knowledge, productivity and work quality.

Client satisfaction. Organizations that maintain a consistent workforce are better equipped to address and meet the needs of customers or clients. High employee turnover may lead to high client turnover if a lack of experience impairs client relations.

Make it universal

Recommend a policy that is inclusive. From the outset, flexible work options have been an accommodation, often for working mothers with young children. However, the future of flex-work should be focused on designing neutral programs that make flexibility the default rather than a privilege. Outline a program that is gender neutral and focuses on the work, not the reason. In doing so, you eliminate friction and dissatisfaction among employees who may feel resentment for not being allowed the same perks.

Point out the obvious

People already work flexibly and remotely, even if it’s not official, though this may be more prevalent in some organizations or professions than others. Employees check email before bed or take a project home to finish over a weekend. Those who tend to work ind